The Richest Pro Triathletes of 2022
With roughly $15M of prize money floating around in our sport last season, we break down the pro triathletes who made the most cash.
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One way to determine the most successful athletes is to keep track of the prize money they earn. Of course, this is only part of the total money athletes can make, as there are no reliable figures on sponsorship or appearance money. Also the numbers shown are earnings before expenses, and there are a lot of things such as travel, camps, coaching, or physio that have to be paid from this same pot of cash—it’s not pure profit for a pro. And while the numbers look nice and have grown considerably since the Professional Triathletes Organization (PTO) has entered the scene, there is still a lot of headway before we reach “golf levels”—where Rory McIlroy, the top 2022 prize money earner, made more than $44 million. That’s nearly three times the amount of prize money available to all pros, of all genders, at all distances!
Let’s start with a look at the overall prize money in triathlon: Athletes earned about $15M in 2022 in 131 events we analyzed. (For more detail on the process, breakdowns, and comparisons, take a look at this deep dive.) All in all, 762 athletes earned money in 2022—337 women and 425 men.
By race series, the total money breaks down to $4.9M from Ironman ($3.3M for full-distance races, including two world championships in 2022, and $1.6M for 70.3s), $5.6M from the PTO, and $800k from Challenge (including Clash). World Triathlon paid $1.9M for their World Triathlon Championship Series, while Super League offered a total purse of $1M. Twenty-four major independent races paid about $800k in 2022.
Looking at race distances, that’s roughly $3M in short course and about $12M in long course. With that in mind, let’s take a look at the top prize earnings in professional triathlon.
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Who makes the most money in triathlon?Section divider
Men’s Long Course
Kristian Blummenfelt is the top money-earner for 2022. He made good money from the PTO (a win at the Collins Cup, second at the PTO Canadian Open, and top-ranked athlete for the 2022 year-end PTO bonus). He also made money racing Ironman – wins at both St. George World Championships and a third place in Kona.
Overall, there were 13 men who made more than $100,000 in long-course prize money for 2022. Below is a breakdown for the top five earners.
|1. Kristian Blummenfelt||$480,000||$260,000||$170,000||$50,000|
|2. Gustav Iden||$413,255||$270,000||$125,000||$18,255|
|3. Magnus Ditlev||$$293,038||$210,000||$34,000||$18,000||$31,038|
|4. Sam Laidlow||$250,000||$172,000||$78,000|
|5. Lionel Sanders||$207,750||$132,000||$65,000||$10,750|
Women’s Long Course
With her two wins at the PTO Opens in Edmonton and Dallas. plus more money from the Collins Cup and the 2022 PTO bonus, Ashleigh Gentle is the top female earner in long course for 2022. Even though Daniela Ryf made significantly more money than she did in 2021, she fell behind Ashleigh. Daniela was the top female based on money from Ironman (both full and 70.3 distance), but she still earned more money from the PTO!
Overall, there were 12 women who made more than $100,000 in long-course prize money for 2022. Below is a breakdown for the top five earners.
|1. Ashleigh Gentle||$351,368||$325,000||$14,000||$12,368|
|2. Daniela Ryf||$335,000||$180,000||$153,000||$2,000|
|3. Anne Haug||$293,788||$180,000||$90,000||$2,250||$21,538|
|4. Chelsea Sodaro||$278,250||$135,000||$140,000||$3,250|
|5. Paula Findlay||$222,000||$181,000||$41,000|
Men’s Short Course
The men’s short-course earning list is dominated by athletes doing well in both the World Triathlon Championship Series and Super League racing. Hayden Wilde was the top earner, as the winner at Super League and a third-place finish at WTCS. World Triathlon Champion Leo Bergere didn’t race any Super League events, ending the year as the number-two breadwinner in short-course racing.
There were a total of 62 men earning prize money in the 2022 short-course events. The top five, in order of earnings, are below:
|Total Short||WTCS||Super League|
|1. Hayden Wilde||$235,000||$105,000||$130,000|
|2. Leo Bergere||$148,100||$148,100|
|3. Matthew Hauser||$140,400||$44,400||$96,000|
|4. Alex Yee||$135,900||$125,900||$10,000|
|5. Vasco Vilaca||$72,100||$26,100||$46,000|
Women’s Short Course
World Triathlon Champion Flora Duffy didn’t race Super League, but still finished number three in the short-course money list. Similar to the men, Super League winner Georgia Taylor-Brown takes the top spot, earning almost the same money from both race organizers.
Fifty-two women were able to earn prize money in the 2022 short course races. The top five, in order of earnings, are listed in this table.
|Total Short||WTCS||Super League|
|1. Georgia Taylor-Brown||$273,000||$143,000||$130,000|
|2. Taylor Spivey||$162,200||$61,200||$101,000|
|3. Flora Duffy||$157,400||$157,400|
|4. Sophie Caldwell||$103,700||$32,700||$71,000|
|5. Beth Potter||$87,400||$49,400||$38,000|
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Thorsten Radde runs Trirating.com and is one of the top experts in the sport for analyzing triathlon finishes and results.